Children are our future. At The Rapid, we’re focused on educating them about public transportation, as well as being environmentally-friendly and getting around the community. We do this through our travel training and public outreach programs.
Recently, three student groups from the West Michigan Academy of Environmental Science recently took a field trip to downtown Grand Rapids. To get a better sense of their community, the second graders and their teachers hopped on board eastbound Route 7 to Central Station. One of their stops was with us at Rapid Central Station. For many of the children, this was their first experience riding The Rapid and learning about public transportation.
“I met the group on the Rapid Central Station platform to speak with them about how our system works and why it is important to our community,” said Michael Bulthuis, The Rapid’s Public Outreach Coordinator of Community.
When we meet with students, we always make sure to share that there’s more to riding the bus than simply getting on board. We talk about how public transportation helps decrease the number of cars on the road, which reduces pollution and impacts your carbon footprint. Another important element we try to share with students and people of all ages is that riding the bus helps you meet other people in the community. Our tours also offer a chance for people of all ages to learn about LEED certification. Did you know that Rapid Central Station and Rapid Operations Center were constructed with recycled materials and have several features that benefit the environment?
“Leading tours for students is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Seeing the children’s energy and willingness to ask questions during their visit is a good reminder that we as adults should all maintain a certain sense of youthful curiosity. I also believe it’s important for children to learn about our diverse community, and how riding the bus at an early age offers them a great opportunity to begin exploring that diversity.” said Bulthuis.
If you know of a group that could benefit from learning more about public transportation, contact us!